August 6, 2020
Nail Reconstruction is now available with a NEW product
Mandy and Ali are pleased to announce that they are able to offer nail reconstruction once again. They are now using a new and more advanced product, called Pedisafe, which gives a lovely, natural look. However, nail varnish can be applied on top, if you prefer a bit of colour. As always, they use a medical model when applying the reconstruction in order to eliminate the risk of cross infection.
PediSafe, developed in Canada by Fanair Cosmetics, is a remodelling, nail enhancing and correction system.
How Does it work?
A flexible gel is applied in layers to the nail bed that recreates the appearance of a nail. Because of its flexibility the new ‘nail’ is able to cope with the every day stresses our feet go through. In addition this flexibility allows the gel to grow with the nail. The new nails can be left natural or polish can be added for a colourful effect.
What are the benefits?
Whilst the main benefit is cosmetic this product also helps to promote healthy nail regrowth. At this time of the year with summer upon us having healthy looking tow nails can be a real boost to our confidence and wellbeing.
Who can benefit?
Anyone suffering from the following can benefit from toe nail reconstruction:-
- Thick and/or discoloured nails
- Cracked/broken nails
- Fungal nails
- Missing nails
How long do they last?
On average the new ‘nails’ will last about 6-8weeks depending on the base nail. If there is no nail at all then it is probable that it will only last a few days. You can however use a hypoallergenic nail glue to reattach it for special occasions.
Mandy & Ali are happy to discuss your individual needs – give us a call to make an appointment.
July 29, 2020
Breathing exercises to reduce stress & anxiety
Life is stressful! There is no getting away from it, all of us face some sort of stress in our lives, sometimes on a daily basis. Stress is a response to a threat in a situation, stress from work, from responsibilities – work or family related, relationship issues, sickness, loss of a loved one, money, the list goes on. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.
So, what is happening to our bodies when we are faced with chronic stress and anxiety?
Stress and anxiety activate the autonomic nervous system, the flight or fight response, which can affect the body in a number of physiological ways, including; an increase in heart rate, heart palpitations, shallow breathing, shortness of breath, chest pains, sweating, headaches, insomnia, irritability, uncontrollable muscle tension, trembling, feeling faint, tingling in hands, arms, legs. Tightness in the throat, dry mouth, problems with speech and a feeling of losing control.
You can learn how to reduce the impact of stress and manage your symptoms by learning techniques to positively affect your nervous system by down regulating the autonomic nervous system (fight or flight) and upregulating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
The parasympathetic nervous system is controlled by the longest nerve in the body, the vagus nerve.
In order to have good control of the vagus nerve over your heart rate, we need good vagal tone. Vagal tone is the difference between your heart rate when you are inhaling and your heart rate when you are exhaling. Typically, when you inhale, your heart rate speeds up slightly and when you exhale it lowers. The bigger the difference between your heart rate during inhalation and exhalation means your vagal tone is higher, which is good as this means you are more able to relax your body after a stressful situation, so vagal tone is key to activating your parasympathetic nervous system.
Apart from being able to relax faster after a stressful situation, a higher vagal tone also means you have better functioning systems;
- Better blood sugar regulation.
- Decreased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
- Generally lower blood pressure.
- Better digestion, due to proper production of digestive enzymes.
- Fewer migraines.
- Less depression.
- LESS ANXIETY.
One of the ways we can positively affect our vagal tone and therefore parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the impact of stress and anxiety, is through breath work.
In order to breathe fully and functionally, the diaphragm, our main respiratory muscle, must be able to expand and contract to its full ability. Studies have shown that in situations of tension and emotional stress, the diaphragm shows hypertonicity by becoming flattened and immobile, inhibiting it from expanding fully, our oxygen intake reducing, and in turn, causing shorter, shallower breaths.
The overall aims of these breathing strategies are to breathe fully, deeply and functionally and to slow down your breathing and heart rate, lowering stress and anxiety levels.
Find yourself somewhere as quiet and as relaxing as possible to sit, away from any stressors, any technology and allow yourself to have some time for you. Try some of the following breathing exercises and find the one that works best for you.
360 breathing – a technique to improve the 360 expansion of your lungs and respiratory muscles, use your hands on the areas that you can reach so you can feel that you are breathing into the correct area. You are wanting to feel just a gentle swell in each of these areas.
- Taking a deep breath in, focus on breathing into your chest, slowly breathe out.
- Taking a deep breath in, focus on breathing into your abdominal wall, slowly breathe out.
- Taking a deep breath in, focus on breathing into ribs, expanding to the sides, breathe out slowly.
- Taking a deep breath in, focus on breathing into the middle of your back, breathe out slowly.
- On your next breath in focus on expanding into all of these areas, your chest, abdominal wall, ribs and the middle of your back. Slowly breathe out.
- Try breathing in for a count of 4, pausing and then breathing out for a count of 4.
- Continue this for 5 minutes.
Square breathing – Square breathing can connect you more deeply with your body, calm your nervous system, and decrease stress in your body.
- Breathe in for a count of 4
- Hold for a count of 4
- Breathe out for a count of 4
- Hold for a count of 4
- Repeat for 5 minutes
Alternate nostril breathing – is a simple yet powerful yogic breath technique that settles the mind, body and emotions.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb
- Inhale through your left nostril
- Release your right thumb and close your left nostril with your index finger.
- Exhale through your right nostril
- Inhale through your right nostril, close your right nostril with your thumb.
- Exhale through your left nostril
- Repeat the circuit, aiming for equal inhales and exhales, working up to 4 count breaths then 8 count breaths.
- Try not to force the breath
- Don’t be tempted to speed up the counting during exhalation.
- Stop if you experience any discomfort
- Allow your breathing to return to normal before standing up and moving.
As adults we don’t take enough, if any, rest, we are on the go constantly moving from one thing to the next. Try incorporating 5 minutes of breath work into your daily lives, whether you need to take a break during a stressful day at work or maybe take the time 5 minutes before bed to really try to rid yourself of the days stressors, slowing your breathing and heart rate down and preparing your body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
Improving your breath through breathing strategies and massage can not only help to improve your levels and coping mechanisms of stress and anxiety, but improving your breathing can also help to improve back pain, pelvic floor function and the effects of conditions such as COPD and asthma.
We breathe 18-20,000 times a day, why not make some of them count?!
If you are really struggling to manage your stress and anxiety levels please seek help, you are not alone. Here is a link to the NHS stress and anxiety page.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of the therapies we offer, that can help with stress and anxiety, please contact the clinic.
Naomi Qualters-Fry BSc Hons, ISRM
Clinical sports massage therapist, Pregnancy & postnatal soft tissue therapist, Scar massage therapist
July 28, 2020
Orthotics – what they are, what they help and how they work
Orthotics, or orthoses are inserts/insoles that go inside your footwear to help you with foot pain. When I was training in the 90’s we believed that these orthoses would help correct your foot position and potentially prevent injury. However, over the last 10 to 15 years this thinking has changed and as a result we have had to change the way we use and prescribe orthoses. This has been backed up through quality scientific research and study. We now use orthoses to help directly with foot and lower limb pain. In the majority of cases we only need to use them for relatively short periods of time to allow the damaged area of the foot to recover. However, in some cases, the injury may not be repairable, like osteoarthritis, or take a long time to repair, like a tendon injury, in which case we may recommend that you use orthoses for an extended period of time. In the event of major deformity or previous major injury it may be advantageous to use them on a permanent basis. It is a requirement of our professional registration with the Healthcare Professions Council that we follow evidence-based medicine at all times and all of the treatments and recommendations occur for orthoses are backed up through up-to-date research papers.
The orthoses will be specifically designed with the shape of your foot and only the injury you are suffering from in mind. There are some types of orthoses that are prefabricated and have characteristics to help with certain common conditions. If your foot and problem is suitable for this type of device you will be given that option.
Once your history has been discussed and an examination of your foot and ankle has taken place, your podiatrist will discuss the best options available to you. In most cases you will be given multiple treatment options that can be combined to give you the best result. We will often use an exercise plan, shock wave therapy, or possibly injection therapy in combination with orthoses. We will talk you through the pros and cons of each of these options and how they combine to give you a powerful treatment model. The ultimate decision for all treatment rests with you but we can give you the information you need to make your choice.
If you decide to go ahead with orthoses we would take a model of your foot either with a three-dimensional scanner or with an impression box. Your podiatrist will then write the prescription with the information gathered from your history and their examination. The topography of design is important as it will be this that will help rest the damaged areas of your foot and give them time to recover.
In some cases it may be desirable to have multiple sets of orthoses and this can be catered for. We always suggest your initial set is designed for cross purpose use and is often designed in carbon fibre minimising bulk and allowing them to be worn in a wide variety of footwear. As your foot model data is stored electronically additional pairs of orthotics can be ordered easily although periodically we will suggest that you pop in for a rescan to assess any changes that may have occurred.
We always look to fit the orthoses into your chosen footwear and adjustments can be made to help accommodate this. We do recommend you gradually wear in the orthoses, particularly the sport, but often people get used to them quite quickly. All our custom-built orthotic shells come with a lifetime guarantee against breakage from normal activities.
Once your foot pain is reducing we may look to make adjustments to the orthoses or possibly transition you out of the orthoses with a rehabilitation plan. In some cases this may take a while. However, contrary to popular belief there is no detriment to continuing to wear the orthoses if you find them comfortable, as long as you do the rehabilitation plan. Evidence has proven that orthoses do not weaken your foot in fact they do quite the opposite which is why we are usually able to eventually stop using them.
One of the more difficult issues we come across are historical prescribing of orthoses particularly with children. As we know children have this annoying habit of growing which means that an orthosis that could have been issued as recently as six months prior may no longer fit or be suitable for that child. It is important that the child is reassessed regularly as only on very rare occasions will orthoses need to be continually used. One of the worst reasons for prescribing orthoses that can be given is that the person has had orthoses previously. Where possible we will look to use a cheaper off-the-shelf orthoses with children to reduce the financial burden on parents or guardians.
Edd Henstridge, ULTRASOUND SPECIALIST PODIATRIST
July 26, 2020
Mobility and Functional movement with Yulia
Yulia is an osteopath and movement therapist who is passionate about helping patients to have pain free movement. She has graduate from University College of Osteopathy and over the years continued to explore ways to provide an effective treatment to variety of patients by taking continual professional education. Her skills ranges from postural assessment and rehabilitation to Lymphoedema therapy, medical acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation.
Yulia is experienced practitioner and teacher of Yoga since 2007 and Pilates since 2013. She specialises in treating dysfunctional painful movements, occupational postural imbalances and breathing disorders. Yulia believes in a holistic approach utilising her skills to create tailored treatments based on an in-depth clinical assessment.
Yulia advocates that a functional pain free movement is attainable for anybody with a regular mobility routine. She has created a series of videos that demonstrate a simple self-help mobility program for different areas of the body. There is also a longer video to help with acute lower back pain. Here are links to those videos: –
Gentle mobility for lower back – https://youtu.be/uzclx7quS6E
Yulia is available for osteopathy and movement appointments – call our reception team who will be happy to book you in on 0118 930 3535.
PS: We also have a video abouth Rehab andLymphoedema featuring Yulia – follow this link
Yulia also has more videos on her Facebook page
July 25, 2020
New therapy – Kinesiology
SUSAN CLARK, HEALTH COLUMNIST for the Times and writer of the best seller ‘What Really Works’ stated that
“Kinesiology should be standard medical training for all general medical practitioners”.
This is a very effective way of getting to the root cause of a health problem or emotional issue and draws on Eastern and Western holistic health systems. The basic principle of this therapy is that the body never lies and through the language of muscle testing, you can identify exactly what the body needs, in order to restore and maintain optimum health and wellbeing. The restoration of balance is achieved using a variety of kinesiology balancing techniques and identifying beneficial supplements and nutrition. It is a truly holistic therapy as it works on a person’s structural, biochemical, emotional, and energetic bodies.
I have been fascinated by, and so impressed with the efficacy of kinesiology for the past decade, that two years ago, I started training for the practitioner / diploma qualification in Systematic Kinesiology. I am now a fully qualified kinesiologist and registered with the Kinesiology Association.
This was the only thing that cleared up my son’s chronic eczema after 9 years. Within 2 weeks of seeing a kinesiologist and being told to dose my son with Vit B 12 and change the olive oil I cooked with, my son’s eczema had completely disappeared. It felt almost miraculous! Personally, I have found kinesiology invaluable in helping me process grief and trauma and navigating through menopause with ease.
I cannot recommend this therapy highly enough. Whether you are suffering from chronic digestive problems like IBS, hormonal imbalance issues, chronic health problems like ME, or wanting to clear emotional trauma memories or clear limiting negative self-belief systems, it has the power to be truly life changing help you be the best and healthiest version of yourself.
WHAT CAN KINESIOLOGY SUPPORT?
- Weight problems
- Allergies, hay fever, Sinus problems, catarrh food sensitivities
- Skin problems, rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis
- Frequent infections
- Candida, Thrush
- Back and Neck, Knee problems, back pain, sciatica or stiff neck/shoulders
- Arthritis, joint pain
- Breast pain – periodic or constant
- Migraines and Headaches
- Hormonal, vitamin and mineral imbalances
- Low immune system
- Digestive issues, Acid reflux, heartburn
- Indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea
- Bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Constipation
- Acid stomach, flatulence, bloating
- Stress, anxiety, depression, phobias
- Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, tiredness, nightmares – Tired All The Time!
- Learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyspraxia
Kinesiology can help anyone from sports people, babies, elderly to the fighting fit and healthy that wish to stay that way! Call us to make your appointment to a healthier balanced wellbeing.
July 21, 2020
Six tips to reduce your risk of injury and keep you motivated when thinking of taking up running
- Tip ONE – Improve your core
If you are new to running then it is a good idea to improve your core before starting your training. Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates are good for this.
- Tip TWO – Start out slow
Begin with a few brisk walks for 30 minutes or so each day then gradually increase into a jog.
- Tip THREE – Find a running buddy
Most people find it easier to keep up with regular exercise if they do it with someone else. There are lots of running clubs that offer beginners groups or find a friend also planning to start running
- Tip FOUR – Pick the right shoes for the right job.
Running shoes are an investment – talk to the professionals in a running shop who will be able to give you advice on the best shoes for you. As a beginner you don’t need the top of the range just a good all rounder.
- Tip FIVE – Get professional help.
If you have any concerns about a niggle or you feel any discomfort when running – seek help early before it stops your activity altogether.
- Tip SIX – Never underestimate the power of a good pair of socks.
Poor quality socks can cause rubs and blisters and prevent you getting out and about. Invest in good quality running socks.
We can advise on potential weaknesses or asymmetries in your running that could lead to injury. We offer a biomechanical assessment service that helps identify the right treatment for anyone suffering from discomfort/pain when running. If you have any concerns about thinking of taking up running gives us a call and we can book you in with one of our experts.
Edd Henstridge, ULTRASOUND SPECIALIST PODIATRIST
July 14, 2020
Tightness in the front of your ankles or lower legs?
Self-myofascial release for the lower leg and ankle.
Are you suffering from tightness in the front of your ankles or lower legs? This video will show you a quick and simple way that you can release the fascia of the tibialis anterior muscle, the tibia (shin bone) and also the front of the ankle.
The tibialis anterior muscle lies at the front of the lower leg to the outside of the shin bone. It runs from the upper outside surface of the Tibia (shin bone) to the 1st metatarsal and medial cuneiform on the inside of the foot and its main action is to dorsi flex (flex the foot up towards the shin), invert (turning the soles of the feet to face inwards) and control the foot as it lowers back to the ground. Tightness in the front of the lower leg and ankle can be down to a number of different factors including; impact sports, running, HIIT training, walking, suddenly increasing your distance or speed, tennis, basketball, gait and pregnancy to name a few.
This self-fascial release will also aid in releasing the superficial front line, which connects the entire anterior surface of the body from the top of the feet to the side of the skull in two pieces, toes to pelvis and pelvis to head. With modern day life, it is common to see dysfunction/tightness in the superficial front line as our daily lives tend to encourage us into flexion (bending forward), such as computer work, being seated for long periods of the day, looking at our phones. Pregnancy and the postnatal period also encourage a shortening of this myofascial line, with the change in posture, and the feeding position.
So, although this release is targeting the muscles and fascia at the front of the lower leg, just be aware that you will be benefitting the whole of the front surface of your body.
THIS IS FOR MILD TO MODERATE TENSION OF THE ANTERIOR SURFACE OF THE LOWER LEG AND ANKLE, IF YOU ARE FEELING SEVERE PAIN OR THIS IS A RECURRING ISSUE PLEASE SEEK FURTHER ADVICE.
Naomi Qualters-Fry BSc Hons, ISRM, Clinical sports massage therapist, Pregnancy & postnatal soft tissue therapist, Scar massage therapist
July 8, 2020
Elbow pain in golfers
Tennis elbow is normally identified with pain on the outside of the elbow whereas Golfers elbow is often pain on the inside of the elbow.
This condition is an overuse injury caused by repeated stress on the elbow joint. When the muscles are overused or strained small tears and swelling (inflammation) can develop near the bend in the arm on the outside of your elbow.
Although the common name is tennis elbow and it could be caused by tennis, it is more often associated with other activities that place stress on the arm and specifically the elbow joint. Activities could include manual work, playing sport or music, so doing things such as painting and decorating, playing squash or playing a musical instrument such as a fiddle or violin.
In this video Michael looks at elbow pain in golfers and the most effective treatment.
Michael Palfrey, Osteopath/Director
- Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibers
- Increased blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues
- Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation
July 2, 2020
Stress and Anxiety
There have been a lot of inquiries recently for treatments to help with stress and anxiety, which is not surprising because we have all been going through a very stressful time. There has been a lot of uncertainty, upheaval of our daily life, lack of stability – which is really hard.
So what is anxiety? It’s a very broad term and it means a lot of different things. It means something different for every person who experiences it. Generally speaking, anxiety is a reaction to stress, so it’s a symptom of your body feeling stress. A few common words that might be used to describe it are worry, fear, unease or panic to name a few. And there can be physical and/or mental signs of it. It’s important to say that it is very common, so if you are feeling anxious or worried you are not alone. At least a quarter of the population in the UK have experienced a mental health problem at some point. Something positive to say is that people are starting to open up about mental health these days. And the more we talk about it, the easier it is for someone to say “Yes I have anxiety.”
Acupuncture uses very fine needles in points around the body to help bring balance to the body, whether that’s on a physical, mental or emotional level. Acupuncture can be used safely alongside other therapies, such as medication or counselling. In fact, combining acupuncture treatment with other therapies can enhance their beneficial effects. And at the same time, acupuncture treatment can help to reduce any unwanted side effects from medications.
How do I work?
So when a client comes to see me in clinic for anxiety, first we will talk about what it means to them specifically. For 10 different people that are experiencing anxiety, they will all describe it differently, so it’s important for me to understand what it means to them. And as a result, for each of the 10 different people, I am able to tailor a treatment strategy that is individual to their needs. Some people might be able to describe exactly where they feel anxiety in their body, for example, in their stomach or bowels, head, chest or they might find it easier to notice what is being disrupted due to anxiety, such as sleep or the ability to concentrate. No matter how one is experiencing anxiety, we can unpick it and figure out what is going to be the best way to treat the individual.
Emily also created this video on how to use acupressure to help relieve anxiety & stress.
I am always happy to have a phone call to chat about how acupuncture could help you.
Emily Delahaye, Acupuncturist
June 30, 2020
Have you increased your exercise during lockdown?
Over the lockdown period it has been said we will all come out the other side either ‘Hunks, Chunks or Drunks’
As I have been walking around our area of Berkshire I have noticed that the number of runners has increased. Whether you have been on furlough or have more flexibility around your working hours the option of exercising during the day certainly has become welcome. The benefits of exercise to our health both physical and mental is well established. Even if you are used to exercising the challenges of taking up increasing levels of activity can lead to injury which ultimately can put our aspirations on hold or maybe stop them dead in their tracks. Here are a few good tips if you are thinking about those changes.
- Start out slow. If you are looking to start running the easiest thing to do is to try a few brisk walks for 30 minutes or so each day and gradually increasing into a jog. If this is the first time you have taken up running, I would certainly advise you to do a little work on your core stability which is very important when you are starting activity. Something like yoga, Pilates, or tai chi, can be a good start. The Couch to 5k plan is also a good starting point.
- Get checked out. If you are an established runner you may be looking to increase your distance towards an event. Most experienced runners will have their training plans mapped out. Injury is not something we plan for but it is something that does occur regularly. It is best to get these things checked out early rather than waiting for them to become a significant problem that could put your progress or place in your chosen event in jeopardy.
- Pick the right shoes for the right job. If you are looking to start running decide which surfaces you’re going to run on. The vast majority of training shoes are designed for road running, however, should you live in the countryside and be wanting to go across uneven surfaces something like a trail shoe may be more advantageous in giving you increased grip and support. You can also use trail shoes on road so if there is any doubt always go for the more supportive type.
- Ignore all the hype surrounding footwear. Shoes are important, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we can get over focused upon brands, styles, and how much support the foot is likely to need. Don’t be taken in by all of the gimmicks that are surrounding trainer structures, motion control, anti-pronation style shoes. If it is right for someone else it may not necessarily be right for you and making the wrong choice can be detrimental to progressing or even continuing your running. The bottom line is go to someone who knows what they’re doing. A good quality neutral shoe does not have to cost the earth and if you are going to pick on one thing make it comfort, or the footwear that feels the best for you.
- Get help quickly. Should you start to get a niggle or an injury as you run, or most often as you start to increase your distance or change the surface you are running on then it would be a good idea to get this checked out. We suggest that you speak to the professionals relating to the area of body where you are having a problem. If it is in your lower limb particularly your foot, ankle or shin then it would be advantageous to come and see the professional that specialises in feet and ankles, a Also, if you find that you are just not progressing as you would like to perhaps it would be a good idea to get some professional advice and some high-quality analysis. It is the podiatrists’ job to keep you on your feet. So why wait till it hurts?
- Never underestimate the power of a good pair of socks. Socks that we choose to run in are almost as important as the shoes. Poor quality socks can cause rubs and blisters and prevent you getting out and about. I would certainly recommend that you buy 3 to 4 pairs of decent running socks, although this will be potentially quite expensive, as they can be nearly £10 a pair. They will be the best £10 you’ve ever spent if you progress further in your running.
When you are thinking about increasing your exercise talk to our experienced team who can advise you where you may potentially have weaknesses or asymmetries in your walking/running that could lead to potential injury. We will link up with our local sports shops, physiotherapists, and other health professionals to put together a package for you to get you to be where you want to be. Whether that be running your first sub- 20 minute 5K or just be able to get around the supermarket without pain we can help you.